(rambling teacher post)
I love to teach. I have taught swimming lessons, Sunday school, EFL, ESL, basic algebra/geometry (tutoring in high school), gardening, and all manner of science. And I'm good with the material, but when it comes to classroom management, I flounder. I love to learn, it comes naturally, and I tend to approach most of life and learning from this angle. I love to read and I love to think (I married a philosopher, and we talk philosophy on a regular basis). Teaching adult ESL, and now, middle school science has brought the fact that the majority of people don't approach life this way crashing in on me. At times, I just want to retreat to my own house and yard and pretend the world is just like me. But its hard to get a paycheck doing that, and I'd go crazy with just my own company (Hubby completely changes the dynamic -- I can spend days at home with just him). Figuring out how to relate to students who aren't just like me (in the classroom, while teaching) is really hard for me. In contrast, can usually find some thing about an individual student I can relate to. Usually, I try to observe and talk with them, making use of "Love Languages" and finding topics they love and asking lots of questions. That is near impossible for me to do/figure out when I'm working to relate to a classroom of kids, since they are all different, have different interests, etc. I'm pretty decent at one-on-one, but group dynamics throw me off, big time.
All that to say, I'm excited to read all these ideas and see what I can put into practice, 'cause I need some help. When I saw this link on a blog I read (thank you, google reader!), I just about jumped out of my chair. Luckily, the coffee hadn't totally kicked in, so it was more a quiet "woot".
I have read "The Soft Mutiny" and "So bad", and plan on reading the rest of them. Yeah, yeah, its by math teachers, and I teach science. Motivation and classroom management spans all classroom subjects... I hope. I'll let you know what else I learn.
Thanks for reading my rambling!